Pirates and Zach Duke $750,000 apart


Pirates News and Notes The Pittsburgh Pirates have been hopeful to avoid arbitration with pitcher Zach Duke but sources indicate that both sides are $750,000 apart. Pittsburgh is believed to have offered a one year deal worth $3.75 million while Duke is seeking $4.5 million. Duke, 26, was 11-16 in 2009 with a 4.06 era and was named to the National League All-Star team. Duke made $2.2 million in 09 and is projected to get around $4.25 million in arbitration. Pirates still looking to add Pirates GM Neal Huntington has rebuilt his bullpen bringing in a number of veterans and is close to adding a closer in Octavio Dotel as both sides are on the verge of an agreement. However, Huntington is not done.

Winter Meetings Recap: Doumit unlikely to be dealt this off-season


By John Perrotto INDIANAPOLIS _ The Pirates’ contingent left the winter meetings Thursday morning without making any major deals and that was not a surprise. The Pirates didn’t have any big moves cooking when they arrived Sunday in the city that truly put the winter back in winter meetings this week with some sub-arctic wind chills. The only Pirates’ player who seemed to draw much trade interest was catcher Ryan Doumit but all indications from sources both inside and outside the organization are that the switch-hitter will not be traded this winter. Doumit’s value is low after he missed 73 games in the first half of last season with a broken wrist and wound up hitting .250 with 10 home runs and 38 RBIs in 75 games. General manager Neal Huntington’s modus operandi has been to sell high on players and, thus, will more likely will wait to until nextRead More »

Morton, Hart playing their way out of a spot in the rotation for 2010


By John Perrotto When the dust had settled following the seven trades the Pirates made from June 3-July 30 that completely reshaped the roster, manager John Russell thought he was sure of one thing. “What I really like about these trades it that we have a very solid rotation now,” Russell said. “We’re strong from 1-5.” It turns out Russell was only three-fifths right in his assessment. Barring an unforeseen major off-season acquisition, only three rotation spots will be set when spring training begins in February. And those spots will belong to pitchers who have been in the rotation all season _ left-handers Zach Duke and Paul Maholm and right-hander Ross Ohlendorf. The two starters acquired in trades, right-handers Charlie Morton and Kevin Hart, have been major disappointments. Morton, picked up from Atlanta in the Nate McLouth trade, is 3-8 with a 5.35 ERA in 15 starts. Hart, acquired fromRead More »

MLB: Pirates won’t pursue a veteran starting pitcher in the off-season


Pirates won’t pursue a veteran starter Photo: David Hague – Inside Pittsburgh Sports The Pirates were somewhat active last off-season searching for a veteran starting pitcher. The team reached out to a number of veterans including Pedro Martinez, Odalis Perez, Braden Looper and even Paul Byrd. This off-season, the organization won’t be looking to sign a veteran starter. The team is prepared to move forward with their current staff that includes 11 game winner Ross Ohlendorf, Kevin Hart and Charlie Morton. Paul Maholm (7-7) had had a disappointing season but Neal Huntington & Co are believers in him and blame his struggles on his health. Maholm has been battling some minor injuries since early June. Zach Duke is the wild card in the off-season. Duke’s salary will double ($2.2 million) after the season via arbitration. The Pirates received a number of inquiries on Duke during the trade deadline. If theRead More »

Will the Pirates lose 100 games?


Photo: David Hague – Inside Pittsburgh Sports With 51 games remaining in the 2009 season, the question is not whether the Pirates will avoid their 17th straight losing season but the question is whether the Pirates will lose 100 games for second time this decade. In the midst of a 8 game losing streak, and only two wins in their last 15 games, the Pirates begin a 6 game road trip which begins in Colorado (62-50) and ends with a three game series against the Chicago Cubs (58-52). The losing streak could easily reach 14, before the Pirates return home for a 9 game home-stand. To avoid losing 100 games for the first time since 2001, the Pirates have to win 18 of their final 51 games. Inside the Numbers *Why the Pirates will lose 100 games 34 of the 51 remaining games are against divisional opponents; The Pirates areRead More »

MLB: Zach Duke likely staying put (Keep an eye on TEX)


Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Zach Duke is likely staying put as the trade deadline is less than 5 hours away. The Pirates have held a number of discussions with the Detroit Tigers over the course of the past 48 hours but the Tigers balked at the Pirates asking price and went in another direction. Barring an 11th hour offer from the Texas Rangers centered around

MLB: Tigers looking hard at Zach Duke


The Detroit Tigers are looking very hard at Pittsburgh Pirates starter Zach Duke sources tell TIOPS. The Tigers and Pirates have been scouting each other extensively over the past month. Prospects SS Cale Iorg and LHP Casey Crosby have been discussed. Jennifer Langosch of MLB.com reported on Sunday that Larry Corrigan, one of GM Neal Huntington’s special assistants, scouted the Tigers entire weekend series with the White Sox. It is not clear who the the Pirates are eyeing off of the Tigers MLB roster but it’s believed to be a reliever. The Tigers have also been scouting Tom Gorzelanny, Ian Snell who are currently pitching in Class AAA Indianapolis but their top target is Duke. There has been no indication from sources that the Tigers are interested in Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez. With three days until the trade deadline, the Tigers are not the only suitor for Duke.

MLB: One NL executive believes Pirates are ready to move almost anyone


Yahoo’s Gordon Edes indicates atleast one NL executive believes the Pirates are ready to move almost anyone Players currently involved in trade talks are Adam Laroche, Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, Ian Snell, Matt Capps, Paul Maholm, John Grabow and Zach Duke. 1. P Zach Duke – Has drawn interest from PHI, SF, TEX 2. Freddy Sanchez – Market has cooled but SF, SEA, CHI Cubs remain somewhat interested

MLB: Rangers interested in Zach Duke


Updated Pirates Trade Deadline Chart – new updates on Capps and Sanchez Marc DelPiano, special assistant to Pirates general manager Neal Huntington, created a minor stir Thursday night when he showed up at Safeco Field in Seattle for the opener of a four-game series between the Mariners and Texas Rangers. Both teams are potential trade partners as the Mariners are again interested in trading for Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez and shortstop Jack Wilson. The Rangers, meanwhile, would like to trade for one of the Pirates’ left-handed starting pitchers, Zach Duke or Paul Maholm, according to TIOPS baseball Insider John Perrotto. Of the two, the Rangers appear to be eyeing pitcher Zach Duke. The Rangers were among four teams to have scouts in attendance Friday night as Duke pitched a complete game against the defending champs. Duke 8-8, 3.28 era, is having his best season since his rookie year whenRead More »

Lack of run support has negated improvements in other areas


By Paul Ladewski CHICAGO – Leave it to home plate umpire Mark Carlson to do what the Pirates haven’t done often enough this season. Actually knock an opponent pitcher out of the box. But not even the ejection of Chicago Cubs hot head Carlos Zambrano was enough to shake the Pirates out of their latest funk in a 5-2 setback at Wrigley Field on Wednesday afternoon. Throw out a rare 10-run outburst in the series opener two nights earlier, and the Pirates scored 13 runs in their last seven games. “We’ve been there the last few years,” said firstbaseman Adam LaRoche, who had one of the eight singles that his team totaled for the day. “It’s just one of those stretches where nothing goes right.” Outfielder Reed Johnson broke a 2-2 deadlock with a solo home run against reliever Jesse Chavez in the eighth inning. The Cubs added a pairRead More »